Level Best Books
June 8th, 2021
eBook and Paperback
May 6, 2021 May 14, 2021
Cloak and Dagger
How do you start an investigation when you have no evidence that a crime has been committed?
When a seventeen-year-old girl abruptly disappears, the ensuing investigation probes dead-ends seemingly as deep as Flathead Lake—the geographic and investigative center of The Other Side. In sleepy Lakeside, Montana, Britany Rodgers’s disappearance is as unexpected as the sudden, violent appearance of a storm sweeping off the lake. The search to find her unearths crimes but none that can explain her disappearance, and Detectives Steven Wendell and Stacey Knudson face one empty trail after another.
Wendell, unlike the girl for whom he searches, has never quite fit the expected norms of his peers. Meticulous, cerebral, a loner, he has the distinction of being the oldest graduate of the Montana Police Academy. When he and Knudson grow suspicious that Britany has been murdered, they have scant evidence and no body.
The investigation to discover what has happened to Britany takes readers into starkly contrasting environments—inside spectacular lakefront mansions and within gritty trailer parks—and into the lives of those who exhibit motivations as murky as the fog-choked Montana woods and mist-shrouded Flathead Lake bays.
The Other Side offers readers a tense crime novel with a literary heart.
About the book
I received this book as an ARC directly from the author who kindly contacted me asking for a honest review.
The Other Side is about a 17-year-old girl who suddenly disappears without leaving any trace. Did she leave freely? Or did something happen? The detective is Steve Wendell who is assigned to the case and over the course of the story we get to know him better.
What I think
First of all I would like to say that I am finally reading a book set not in the usual part of the United States. We are in Montana, a state where I have never been with my imagination and we are in the middle of the nature of Flathead Lake (which I had never even heard of) very close to an Indian Reservation. These premises make the book a must read. It may seems frivolous but after reading tons of books set in New York or Los Angeles this is fresh and new (and I think I know those cities better than Americans).
Anyway, the case is interesting and also how it comes to the conclusion. The book is not boring at all so it reads quickly because with each chapter you want to go on without stopping. Maybe it slows down a bit in the middle but picks up right away and from there on, you just want to know the solution.
For a moment I wanted the case to end differently because the premises for a different solution were there, but although it is bad to say this (and if you read the book you understand why) I am happy with how it all turned out.
I really liked the author’s style. The chapters are not very long, there are descriptions but they are not interminable and the story is in third person, but from the point of view of the detective who, apart from the first chapters, is always present. I read the book in the original language and found no difficulty in both understanding the English and following the story.
Being a thriller, the characters don’t have that depth that can be found in characters from other genres, but the protagonist, the detective is a good character. I especially liked the depth of his final gesture. It’s not easy to find characters with such empathy for others and I think the final scene touched me more than any other scene in the book. I also liked his tenacity and moreover, he is the only person in the police force who cares about the girl and her family.
I want to thank again the author for the opportunity to read his book. I don’t know if it will be part of a series (I hope so, but even as a standalone it is beautiful) but I highly recommend it. I hope it will be translated into Italian (and other languages) and that I will find Steve Wendell in the future. Please buy this book, you wan’t be disappointed!